Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blueberry Week

I was given 5 pounds of blueberries by my mom, and I had so much fun using them up over the past week!

I tried my hand at canning for the very first time.  I was nervous, but ended up with 9 perfect little jars of jam.  I followed the directions on the Reduced Sugar Sure Jell packet, and it worked out great.

This blueberry lemon bread is from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I changed two things about the recipe 1)  I  used 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 c of honey, instead of a full cup of sugar and 2) I skipped the lemon syrup portion of the recipe (because I ran out of sugar).  It's so good!

Here is my tried and true blueberry muffin recipe.  I'm not sure where it originated from (probably from a Pillsbury or Betty Crocker cook book).  I've been making this every Christmas morning for years and years.

Streusal Topped Blueberry Muffins

Streusal topping:
1/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T firm butter

3/4 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 egg
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c fresh, canned, or frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease bottoms of 12 muffin cups (or use baking cups).  In medium bowl, mix 1/2 c flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Set aside.  In large bowl, beat milk, oil, & egg with fork or wire whisk.  Stir in 2 c flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt until moistened.  Fold in blueberries.  Divide into muffin cups, top with streusal.  Bake 20-25 mn until golden brown.  Remove from pan immediately.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Summer In Pictures - Weeks 11 & 12

Be prepared for a major photo bomb.  We did a lot over the past two weeks!

We had "Aunt Leslie's Day Camp" at the farm

Went to the Children's Museum to do some art and play in the "city" room

Entertained our Downtown neighbors on one of the Pianos On Parade

Went to Como Park and rode the carousel and looked at the animals

Went to the Washington County Fair.  Millie was brave and held a big FAT caterpillar

Went on lots and lots of rides at the fair.  Millie went on her first roller coaster and loved it.  Elise loved the rides this time.  The ride operator didn't have to stop the ride to let her off ;)  Progress!

Went to Fort Snelling.  I could spend all day there asking questions.  We saw the actual room where Dred Scott lived!  

Millie and Elise participated in a mock military drill.  See Millie in the pink shirt, three people to the left of the military guy?  Elise is tucked in behind her.

We watched a music demonstration

Millie and Elise could have stayed at the laundry demonstration all day long.  The laundresses made more money than the soldiers back then.

Both girls started swimming lessons.  They're both doing great!

Elise became a Jr. Ranger, just like Millie :)

4-H Olympics!  Potato sack race

3 legged race

Water balloon toss...

There were a few more events, but it was getting dark, so my pictures didn't turn out.  Elise didn't participate in the olympics, but she had a blast charming the teenage girls.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not Back To School - Curriculum Week

Even though I've only been homeschooling for one year, I feel much older and wiser.  I'm much more confident in my curriculum choices.  Here's what we're going to do for 3rd grade this year:

Math - Saxon math 3.  Millie got 100% on the math portion of her standardized test.  Saxon seems to really work for her, so I'm not going to change a thing!

Language Arts - Queen Homeschool Language Lessons for the Elementary Child.  I love this course.  I wish I would have found it last year!

Spelling - All About Spelling.  Millie bombed the spelling portion of her standardized test, so I had to get something that is proven to work.  Fingers crossed that this does the trick!

Cursive - Queen Homeschool Pictures in Cursive Primer.  We'll start this after Christmas.  Until then, we'll work on her printing using Draw Write Now and other copy work.

Reading - She's going to work on her reading out loud skills by reading to Elise every morning.  She's also going to read several Classic Starts novels.  Millie finally loves reading for fun, so exposing her to some great literature will be really cool.

Science - I've developed my own hybrid science curriculum using the Usborne Encyclopedia of Science.  We're going to focus on plant and animal biology and physics this year.  We're also going to do a lot of nature study.

History - We're doing American History 1 this year, using guesthollow.com as my guide.

PE - She'll take skating and polka dancing in the Fall, and we'll swim in our pool whenever possible.  While it's still nice out we'll ride bikes, play tennis, and take lots of walks.  In the Spring she'll take a school yard games class.  We'll also attend open gym once per month or so.

Art - She's doing photography through our homeschool group, art at the Children's Museum when possible and, a homeschool art class once per month.

Other activities - Millie will be taking Jr. Ranger classes with her homeschool group once per month.  They'll do all kinds of cool stuff like fossil hunting, star gazing, ice fishing, and canoeing.  Both girls will take Farm Explorers class at Gale Woods Farm in the Spring.  There are so many "other activities" I can't possibly list them here.

This year we're going to try to socialize a little less.  Things got a little out of control last year.  We're going to try to limit our outings with friends to two days per week.  Don't worry, two days with friends will not an awkward child make ;)  She'll still get to interact with humans when she goes out with Grandma Susie on Wednesday while I work, Sunday school, regular "lunch break" outings to the library, children's museum, science museum, weekend play dates with friends and cousins, etc.

Let's get this party started!

Check out other curriculum blogs at the Not Back To School Blog Hop!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Homeschool Wish List

Our homeschool is almost complete for the 2012-13 school year!  There are a few items we WANT (not need), but I need to save up for them first.  Here's our list:

Nikon CoolPix camera for Millie.  Nothing fancy (she's 8!), just something that'll take good pictures, at a reasonable cost.

PoGo Instant Photo Printer - This compact, portable printer prints small pictures on stickers!  This would be perfect for science and nature study journaling.

Marine biology coloring book - We're doing a seas and oceans unit this year.  This coloring book is so cool!  Although the suggested age is 13+, I think she'd absorb it all.

Oil spill cleanup experiment kit - Founds this in the Home Science Tools catalog today.  Perfect!

That's it!  I'm looking forward to a great school year!  Can't wait to get started.  Seriously, I need  my regular routine back.  C'mon September!